Although the Minnesota High School seemed like it just ended, the hype of high school hockey never stops in Minnesota. I decided to break down the players and give you ten players to watch in each grade, starting today with the seniors. These ten are players that could be battling it out for Mr. Hockey next season and this group includes 7 division one commits (currently). In no particular order, here are my ten seniors to watch for next year season:
Carter Randklev – Forward – Moorhead (Arizona State)
Last year we knew Carter Randklev was a good player but watching him at the state tournament, he was extremely impressive. He is shifty, has quick hands and skates past most defensemen with his speed. Even though he’s a smaller kid, he knows how to get to the net. Randklev scored 33 goals in 31 games last year and added 27 assists to his point total. If Moorhead looks to get back to the tourney, Randklev will have a huge impact doing so.
Dev McCabe – Forward – St. Paul Academy (Minnesota-Duluth)
Dev McCabe is a player that would have love to see more of last year but due to late season suspension we didn’t see him in the section playoffs and SPA was knocked out in the section finals. I expect McCabe to come into this season very hungry and eager to get his team to the state tournament. The future bulldog had 29 goals in 24 games last season. He is a forward with good size and a heavy shot.
Ben Almquist – Forward – Holy Family (Wisconsin)
Holy Family was a team that was stacked with talented juniors last season and they ran into a dominant Eden Prairie team, which included Casey Mittelstadt, in the section finals. Ben Almquist was one of those talent juniors. He is crafty centerman with good hands that loves to move the puck. Almquist had 35 assists last season and I look for him to increase that number this year.
James Marooney – Defenseman – Holy Family (Ohio State)
Continuing with the Holy Family trend, James Marooney will hold down the blue line this year for the Fire. Last season, James had 29 points in 28 games for Holy Family. He is a commit of the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Marooney’s are a big hockey family, James has two older brothers playing college hockey, Cody at Alabama-Huntsville and Joey at Minnesota.
Luke Loheit – Forward – Minnetonka (Minnesota-Duluth)
Luke Loheit has great size and skates well for his size. After dominating at the Bantam level he committed to Minnesota-Duluth but has yet to have that breakout year at the high school level. Only 13 points in 26 games for Minnetonka last year, I expect for him to have much impact on the team this season.
Sam Walker – Forward – Edina (Minnesota)
The speedy Sam Walker will be the captain again of the Edina Hornets and has great intangibles to impact the game. Walker had a great junior year, tallying 52 points in 28 games. The only player to outscore Walker in his conference was Mittelstadt. The future Minnesota Gopher is in search of his second state title and could get it down with another breakout season.
Grant Anderson – Defenseman – Wayzata (Nebraska-Omaha)
After a disappointing regular season, Wayzata once again turned it on during the playoffs and made it back to the state tournament. Grant Anderson was one of the leaders on that team, especially on the back end. Anderson had 24 points and quarterbacked the power play. Anderson has the luxury of being coach by Pat O’Leary who preaches defense. Look for Anderson to have another strong season and maybe add a little more to the goal column with his heavy shot.
Jared Moe – Goalie – Holy Family
Jared Moe is the best goalie in the state in my opinion. He is a big goalie with great athleticism that can steal a game at any moment. Last season he went 22-5-1 with 1.54 GAA and .920SV%. To improve on those numbers would be incredible but wouldn’t be surprised if he did it, he is that good. With a great team in front on him, Moe is in line to have another great season with a chance at deep into the playoffs and state tournament.
Lucas McGregor – Forward – Centennial
55 points in 28 games for Lucas McGregor last season. He is a kid with top-end hands and vision. McGregor is a strong skater that will be the focal point of Centennial’s team this year. You will see him out there on the penalty kill and the power play. He is a difference-maker and will have to have a huge season for the Cougars to get back to the state tournament.
Luke Lamaster – Defenseman – Duluth East
Luke Lamaster is a defenseman that will make his presences felt at both ends of this ice. He 6’ 1” and a strong kid, he will have a huge roll on Duluth East this season who might be the favorites to come out of section 7AA this year. Lamaster had 16 points last season and would be surprised if he doubled that next season.
Tyler Borsch – Maple Grove
Griffin Ness – Wayzata
Jack Olsen – Lakeville South
Garrett Worth – Duluth East
Chase Foley – St. Thomas Academy
***** I am also assuming that these players will leave year to the USHL
Gavin Hain – Grand Rapids (USHL Sioux Falls)
Blake McLaughlin – Grand Rapids (USHL Chicago)
Zach Stejskal – Grand Rapids (USHL Bloomington)
Colin Schmidt – Wayzata (USHL Waterloo)
Coming soon: 10 Juniors to Watch and 10 Sophomores to Watch